Mission: Impossible

Season 5 Episode 7

Butterfly (aka Poor Butterfly)

0
Aired Saturday 9:00 PM Oct 31, 1970 on CBS
6.6
out of 10
User Rating
24 votes
1

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Episode Summary

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Butterfly (aka Poor Butterfly)
AIRED:
Toshio Masaki, a powerful anti-American industrialist, kills his sister and frames her husband, an American businessman named Harry Kellem, so as to discredit America and discredit the Economic Council.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • In a season packed with stand-out episodes, Butterfly deviates little from the established norm. The attempt at a Japanese setting is admirable, but the viewer is ultimately lost in the ho-hum plot and Leonard Nimoy's embarrassing 'Japanese' makeup.moreless

    6.0
    How do you take a series that is filmed in California and transport it to another continent? If you're talking the Middle East, you take your crew to some remote location in the desert. If you're talking Eastern Europe, you make use of the plethora of backlot sets available at the studio (and boy, does this series love recycling its backlot sets). But Japan? That's a little trickier.



    Kudos to the show runners for attempting an episode set in Asia, to which they've built an extensive indoor set and deviated from their usual back alleys and nondescript buildings. Yes, it's a very obvious indoor set, accompanied by a few exteriors shots at a Japanese-themed park, but kudos on them for trying something new. Unfortunately that's one of two high points to this episode (the other which I'll get to shortly), which tosses in a rather ho-hum murder mystery to frame an American businessman and sour international relations. As with some of the series' lower episodes, it's a lot of setup for a relatively mild objective - you'd think there's an easier way to expose a murderer than to recreate the murder, film it, and use it as supposed blackmail to trick the killer into revealing himself. Yeah, IMF episodes are usually overly-elaborate anyway, but they always result in a good payoff. Here, not so much.



    Special mention must be made of Leonard Nimoy's 'Japanese' disguise, because it's just so awfully wrong. I can only imagine this is a riff on Sean Connery from "You Only Live Twice," and I really hope no one expected this to pass muster, even in 1970. It's not offensive so much as it is ridiculous. Of course if they'd replaced Nimoy with someone of actual Asian descent, he might as well not have been in the episode at all. That one other high point? Willie kicking some serious butt. Jim and Willie stage a jujitsu match to divert attention, during which Willie voluntarily plays the fall guy. But the opponent gets his in the end as Willie beats the tar out of him on the front lawn of the villains house. Go Willie!



    A pretty skippable episode from season 5, or if you're working though the DVD set put it on the bottom of the list.moreless
Peter Graves

Peter Graves

James Phelps

Leonard Nimoy

Leonard Nimoy

The Amazing Paris

Lesley Ann Warren

Lesley Ann Warren

Dana Lambert

Greg Morris

Greg Morris

Barney Collier

Peter Lupus

Peter Lupus

Willy Armitage

Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson

IMF Voice on Tape (uncredited)

Khigh Dhiegh

Khigh Dhiegh

Toshio Masaki

Guest Star

Benson Fong

Benson Fong

Inspector Akita

Guest Star

Lisa Lu

Lisa Lu

Mioshi Kellem

Guest Star

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